From publishing to production, of the most important topics up for discussion in the early planning stages is both budget and a timeline for the completion of the project in question. A deadline. There’s little point creating a potentially best-selling product if the appropriate systems and building blocks aren’t established to ensure both maximum efficiency and that deliverables leave their respective production lines on time.
…As long as it’s black.
The relative success of the Model A motor car encouraged Henry Ford to take his vision to the next stage. In his planning for the follow-up Model T, Ford quickly realised his established method of vehicle assembly, that saw one fitter completing one vehicle, from start to finish, on their own, would no longer be viable. Indeed, by the time the Model T was ready to go into production in 1908, the assembly process had been made significantly more efficient via a selection of specialists instead moving around multiple stands completing their specific tasks as they went. This not only shortened the manufacturing process timeline, but also saw a ramp-up in quality as each worker focussed and took ownership of one particular aspect of the assembly of each vehicle.
By 1913, Ford had streamlined this process further by introducing a production line that saw the unbuilt car move along a conveyer belt to dedicated manned stations, rather than having the assembly workers chase their job sheets around a shop floor.
So successful was Henry Ford’s production line concept that it would soon be adopted by vehicle manufacturing plants around the globe, with evolutions of this “belt-driven” process still prevalent in the most modern production facilities.
From the assembly of a new vehicle with thousands of intricate parts to bringing carefully considered new creative projects to life, the importance of clear communication between each station along the production line process, as well as an understanding of each person’s role, skill sets and timeline expectations has never been more significant.
And it was important even before global events of the past 12-months conspired to see many locked-down, house-bound employees feeling decidedly less connected to both the office and, indeed, their co-creatives. Never before has the spotlight been so focussed on how efficiently a project can be delivered, from concept to final sign-off, whilst relying on creatives scattered around the country – and globe.
Having the right workflow management systems in place affords each person involved in the production process a sense of worth and, indeed, a feeling of accomplishment once projects are completed – on time, and within budget. Management’s ability to monitor and track the progress of a project as it makes its way along the “conveyer belt” is a crucial element of this process.
Under the headlines; project, program and portfolio management, modern workflow software solutions have evolved to allow for the organisation of resources, technological knowhow and, indeed, valuable content associated with a specific business into logical digital patterns with the ability to streamline each new project into a manageable, efficient and easily-monitored production line of responsibility.
Advancements in these project management systems mean they now communicate (via API’s) with each other within the greater framework of a business. In turn, these systems offer an ideal platform – connecting to your CRM, DAM, PIM, LMS, supply train tracking and even accounting systems – to enable each project leader, line manager, business owner and stakeholder a line-of-sight view of the inner workings of every project as it unfolds.
A keen watch maker and innovator with more than 160 patents to his name by the time he passed away in 1947, Henry Ford’s vision for an American workforce was one of maximised efficiency and the economic growth this might encourage. In a modern world, it’s a goal made that much more achievable by intricate and carefully considered software solutions.